CAN YOU GUESS WHAT IT IS YET?
THE CULTURAL MEMORY OF AN IMAGE
Hmmmm, not sure that title actually says anything of worth. In fact, it sounds a bit like university art wank speak! Although perhaps that would be more like:
Can we analyse the signifiers of an image to determine its relevance on the cultural and visual memory of the populace.
Oh yes – university wank speak lecturer…here I come.
The point of this post is a brief one. Was looking at some images the other day, like this one to your right. It reminded me of a topic I have looked into / thought about / tried to explore a fair bit in the past, which relates to how we remember things visually.
EDITING THE WORLD
In particular – how much is loaded in the ‘language’ of an image that gives us clues to its meaning or what it is. Its like the fairly well known fact that when we first see an abstract image, we will often liken it to a face – as that is one of the most common visual references to us as a species. Hence seeing faces in clouds or rocks…or perhaps seeing Jesus in a bagel!
The example image here is very easy, but the question is – what is this a picture of? If we could zoom out and see more, what would we see?
Based on the fact there is not actually that much information in the photograph, if we can guess what it is an image of, what does that tell us about our integral understanding of visual clues – how they are processed and stored and referenced in society etc. How do we learn these references and how are they then used by artists or anyone else in everyday life.
Think on! I guess it interests me due to the process’s of editing that I have banged on about in the past. Photography is the editing of the world but how minimal can one get in that editing whilst still letting another person know exactly what the image is of?